LME:LEARN - Large Marine Ecosystems

Strengthening ocean management and governance

16 Feb 2017
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission hosts 18th annual consultative meeting for large marine ecosystem projects, highlighting the advances and work needed to make transboundary ecosystem-based ocean management and governance more effective and fit for purpose to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.

NESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission hosts 18th annual consultative meeting for large marine ecosystem projects, highlighting the advances and work needed to make transboundary ecosystem-based ocean management and governance more effective and fit for purpose to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.

How can we effectively protect, manage and sustainably develop ecosystems that run across national borders? This question is central to the management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), a concept developed jointly by Dr. K. Sherman of the U.S. NOAA and Dr. L. Alexander of the University of Rhode Island, that manages ecosystems based on ecologically-distinct areas of vast ocean spaces (approximately 200,000 km2 or greater) that run along the margins of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean basins.

The world's 64 LMEs produce over 85% of the world's annual fish catch and provide key ecosystem services - such as natural coastal protection and carbon sequestration and storage, the so-called blue carbon.UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has been convening annual consultative meetings of the world's Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) project stakeholders since 1997. This year's 18th Annual Meeting (6-8 December 2016) provided once again a global forum for Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded and other marine and coastal practitioners, leaders and institutions, who shared experiences and lessons with respect to ecosystem-based governance.

The meeting brought together marine, coastal management, biodiversity and climate change coastal adaptation project leaders to discuss recent developments and innovative solutions to the implementation of LME partnerships worldwide.